Congresswoman Who Helped Spearhead Black Lives Matter Movement Under Investigation Over Campaign Spending

by Xara Aziz
Instagram @coribush

One of Congress’ most outspoken representatives is under investigation after being accused of misappropriating security funds, according to a statement she released Tuesday.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a former Black Lives Matter organizer, has denied any wrongdoing is and is fully cooperating in the investigation, she said.

Since taking office in 2020, Bush said her physical safety and life has been threatened but denies using federal tax dollars for personal security.

“As a rank-and-file member of Congress I am not entitled to personal protection by the House, and instead have used campaign funds as permissible to retain security services,” Bush wrote in her statement. “I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services. Any reporting that I have used federal funds for personal security is simply false.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a grand jury subpoena to the House sergeant at arms, making the news public on the House floor on Monday. But at the time, the specific focus of the probe was not disclosed at that time.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

It was confirmed Monday that the Justice Department was investigating Bush’s use of funds, but at the time the member was not identified, according to NBC News. Punchbowl first reported the story.

Bush first came under scrutiny for misuse of funds when she kept her security guard, Cortney Merritts, on her campaign payroll after she married him, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In Bush’s statement released Tuesday, she acknowledged her husband remaining on her team “because he has had extensive experience in this area, and is able to provide the necessary services at or below a fair market rate.”

NBC found that Bush spent over $756,748.42 on security since she ran for Congress in 2018.

Since then, Bush has accused the “right-wing” of making “baseless complaints against me.”

“I am under no illusion that these right-wing organizations will stop politicizing and pursuing efforts to attack me and the work that the people of St. Louis sent me to Congress to do: to lead boldly, to legislate change my constituents can feel, and to save lives,” Bush said.

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